dimanche 28 avril 2013

More snow!

...but I have problems at Pont to solve today!

samedi 27 avril 2013

Pont troubles

The snow continued until about midday, but has since melted below about 900m. Four days working long hours at Pont and although most the work is complete there have been a few set backs.

Yesterday the light in the downstairs hall decided to die. After much checking, the fault lies somewhere hidden in the buried wiring - perhaps a loose connection or faulty wire. Nothing to be done but to safely terminate the existing wiring and pull a new wire from another circuit or the fuseboard. That's where the fun started. The hall is on the opposite side of a 600 thick stone wall to the fuseboard and now the floors and ceilings are long since finished, there's no way to pull another cable through the only hole that carries all the cables. So I eventually found a lighting cable for the kitchen which I could just reach in a ceiling void over the utility room and after hours of fiddling (because there wasn't enough slack in the cable to easily make a connection) I connected everything up and hey presto NOTHING. No light and after checking the cable no current! Bizarre as I know the cable serves the kitchen light. To cut a long storey short I'd connected to the cable after the kitchen light switch (the cable had to come back through the utility to get to the only hole through the stone wall I mentioned earlier). So the light worked but only when the kitchen light was also turned on. If this sounds confusing, good, because it was and I was there!! Plan B involved hours of trying to pull another cable through the utility room ceiling void and up into the kitchen. Eventually success, but 6 hours to wire a lamp!

Set back two involves the septic tank. The overflow from which enters a small tank which once full pumps the liquid up the hill to filter beds. The pump is working fine but there's a crack in the pipework built into the tank which is allowing the water to flow back into it once the pump stops, eventually it refills the tank triggering the pump once more. Not sure if the part with the crack is replaceable, mendable or if I have to get a hole new tank and install it - I only have 2 days before tenants move in!! Will need to bale out the tank tomorrow to have a better look - yuk.

Fortunately the bath at Quelebu is now fully operational after some late night working, with new taps and larger bore pipework (22mm) it fills quickly and effortlessly.

8.00am and here comes the snow!

jeudi 25 avril 2013


Crazy - but snow is forecast for the weekend!! The leaves are out on the beech trees so I hope it isn't too heavy, a few years ago it was catastrophic.

mercredi 24 avril 2013


Back to France. It was a shame leaving Devon, which for once was basking in sunshine, but fortunately the weather is the same here. Today was glorious, 36 degrees at 6.30pm - which was the time I got home from Pont where I had been installing 2 new double glazed windows.

After a quick wander around the woods near home I remembered it was Morel time...so after visiting my secret Morel location I came away with 3! I think I'll dry them so Susie can try them.

The cuckoo is here, the songbirds are singing and everything is bursting into bloom!

lundi 15 avril 2013


It is with much sadness that I heard today that my dear friend Dédé Asso died a couple of days ago, just a few days short of his 90th birthday. Dédé fought in WWII and was twice injured (he had shrapnel in his legs and had lost a finger), he loved to ski (he was originally from the Savoie I think) and he continued to ski until he was in his mid-eighties.

Our love goes out to Minsou and his family.

samedi 13 avril 2013


There's been a lot of talk about a forthcoming "heatwave" in the UK...but it is just talk. The forecast remains overcast and rainy for as far as the forecasters can predict.

Susie and I had the lovely beech at Mothercombe all to ourselves on Friday lunchtime but we did get soaked in the heavy showers.

We now have a small south facing allotment in Totnes so hopefully we can grow some fruit and vegetables this year.

dimanche 7 avril 2013

Sun and snow

 Lovely weather above the clouds

Jasper and Ruby making a giant snowball


Spot the ball

This evening on a walk through the woods Susie and I saw a large wild boar. Susie collected some wild flowers and I collected the now abandoned hornets' nest from the barn toilet.

..and below inside when I sawed it in half.

samedi 6 avril 2013

All Change

Yesterday a change in the weather was on it's way

Susie and I crack on with some concreting (Susie's first!)

A screed topping (gentler on the feet)

All done, time to get cosy inside

This morning the shuttering is off and we head to market, but the snow starts to settle

Still dumping it down - tomorrow will be sunny so it'll be off to Guzet for some serious snowball fighting!

jeudi 4 avril 2013


Unusual weather here with days alternating between sunny and warm and rainy. Perhaps some snow showers tomorrow so a bit of everything! The house is warm though and everyone is happy.

Letting the house at Pont de la Taule has been a bit of chore. The first viewer was desperate to have it, signed the contract gave me the deposit then changed her mind the following day (after I had cancelled all further viewings) and she has been a right royal pain in the arse. I managed to reorganise another day of viewings today and think I have found new tenants, a young local family...so fingers crossed.

A photography trip to the woods yesterday (note no need for coats - bliss).